On the Games Fields


In the afternoons of the winter terms I was involved in rugby coaching from the first moments of getting back from Oxford.   I was never in charge of a team set, and mostly coached the Under 16 colts 2.  Occasionally a boy from my set achieved the first team.  Looking back I think it was a mistake not to give me a team set, because all the effort I put into the junior sets left me rather detached.  since there was no real climactic to aim for.  I remember playing rugby for the OAs, and I used to referee  house matches etc but rarely interschool matches.  I was a competent referee without being a particularly good interpreting of the rules or spotter of infringements.  As time went on in the 60s and early 70s I found my ankles were more and more painful, so that just before I left for JH I was mostly coaching different things in the gym.

In the spring term I took over the shot putting from fr John Macaulay, who had taken over from Fr Oswald Vanheems – this must have been in about 1970.  I became quite expert in  shot coaching, and went on a coaching course at Loughborough University with some quite famous coaches.  I remember being  stiff for days after the week’ course because it was exercise and training from morning to night.  I learnt discus, pole vaulting, as well as high and long jump.  It was the only course of training that I had in all  my teaching career except for one history course.   I coached shot for several years until I went to JH.  It was at JH that I ceased to being involved in the sports – this was partly because of the aches and pains.